Summer reading list

by Jessica Evans
Stripes Europe

The kids are out of school and everyone is a little restless. Maybe some of your friends have started their PCS processes to new duty stations and you’re looking for a way to fill the time.

Summer is an excellent season to dig into reading! Why? Because it’s inexpensive, entertaining and it helps keep the kids away from the TV all day. Plus, when you’re selective about what you read and what you give your kids to read, you’re creating good habits. Kids who have parents that actively and routinely read typically do better in school. Research shows that summer reading is crucial if kids are going to head back to school in the fall, ready to learn. Most installations offer a summer reading program at the library, but taking that a step further and encouraging your child(ren) to read outside of the program is a great idea too.

When you carve out time to read as a family, you’re helping to nurture not only your mil spouse soul but your kid’s souls too.

Here are five books for you and five for your kids that will help you find a new perspective on this (sometimes) crazy and hectic military life.

Books for Adults:

Stories Around the Table by 40 military families and Terri Barnes – Candid conversation from mil spouses, parents, children and service members that range from humorous to practical.

Behind the Blue Star Banner by Michelle S. Cuthrell – Autobiographical account of how the author dealt with her first pregnancy while her service member was deployed.

Finding Joy: The Year Apart by Hope N. Griffen – Personal experience of the author as she questions how to thrive in a military marriage.

15 Years of War by Kristine Schellhaas – A unique take on how service members and their spouse cope with deployment in modern times.

You Know When the Men are Gone by Siobhan Fallon – An exploration into what it’s really like to live on a U.S. installation and how military spouses and family members cope with the challenges that accompany it.

Books for Kids (various ages):

Hero Dad by Melinda Hardin – The story of a boy comparing his US Solider father to a superhero.

H is for Honor: A Military Family Alphabet by Devin Scillian – A fantastic resource for children to begin to understand what it means to be patriotic.

Night Catch by Brenda Ehrmantraut – A Soldier is deployed and uses the North Star as a way to play nightly games of catch with his son.

A Paper Hug by Stephanie Skolmoski – Aims to help children understand some of the challenges of deployment; a young boy sends a paper hug to his deployed father.

Home is Where Our Hero Is by Bridgett Platt – Exploring the challenges of PCSing time and again, this book can be personalized to include the child’s name, age, ethnicity and the parent’s branch of service. 

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